BlackBerry Q10 is BlackBerry’s first qwerty smartphone running on BlackBerry 10 OS. It was launched in India last month for Rs 44,990. It is the second device running on BB 10 OS, other devices are BlackBerry Z10 and BlackBerry Q5.
Q10 has been specially launched for the users who love to type on a qwerty keyboard or in simple terms for people who don’t like to use touch screen smartphones. So will the BlackBerry Q10 help the company in regaining the lost market share? Read on to find out.
Display & Design
The device measures 119.6 x 66.8 x 10.4 mm and weighs around 139 grams. At 10.4mm the device is bit thicker than the BlackBerry Z10. It comes with a 3.1 inch square shaped Super Amoled display which has a resolution of 720×720 pixels and a pixel density of 331 ppi. The display is quite sharp & clear. It has good viewing angles, contrast levels and sunlight readability.
Since the display has a aspect ratio of 1:1 HD videos will not be played in full screen. HD videos have an aspect ratio of 16:9 and therefore you will find them appear smaller on the Q10 display. But since the phone is not targeted at the audience who usually use the phone for accessing the multimedia content it won’t be a problem.
Along with the touchscreen users also get a full 35 key physical qwerty keyboard. The keys have been placed in four rows separated by thin metal strips. The keys are well spaced out and has been arranged in a straight line since the device does not have any special key for navigation. As you can notice in the image below the device has curved edges.
Above the display you get an earpiece, 2 megapixel front facing camera, hidden sensors & notification LED.
On the right side you have a volume rocker with a small pause/mute key squeezed in between. The middle can also be used to access the voice commands or controls.
The micro HDMI & micro USB ports are present on the left side of the device.
At the bottom you have a microphone and a loudspeaker.
At the top of the device you have a 3.5mm audio jack, power/lock key and additional microphones for noise cancellation.
The back of the device has been made from carbon fiber and has a weave pattern on it. There is a metal strip present at the back which divides the phone in to two unequal halves. At the back you have a 8 megapixel camera along with LED flash.
The device has a removable back panel. Once you remove the back cover you will find a NFC antenna on the back panel. You can also access the battery, micro SIM card slot and mciroSD card slot once you open the back cover.
Overall the phone has good build quality & design. The device feels quite solid in your hand It is surely one of the best smartphones in terms of build quality.
Hardware & Performance
In terms of hardware specifications BlackBerry Q10 is a powerful device. It is powered by a 1.5 GHz dual-core Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 processor along with 2GB RAM. It comes with 16GB internal storage which can be expanded by using a microSD card of upto 32Gb storage.
The device is quite powerful and can even run most of the games available on the BlackBerry World. To test the gaming capabilities of the device, we played few games on the device. We played NFS, the Amazing Spiderman and Angry birds Star wars on the BlackBerry Q10.
We did not face any kind of lag or slowness while using the BlackBerry Q10. Even while playing the above mentioned games there was no lag at all.
BlackBerry Q10 runs on latest BB 10.1 OS which has many new features as compare to any other previous BB OS. We have already covered the BlackBerry 10 OS in our BlackBerry Z10 review so we won’t go into much detail. Users need to swipe from bottom to up to unlock the device. And similarly for going back from any app users need to swipe from bottom to up.
A simple swipe from top to bottom will open the notification bar which lets you turn on/off various features such as bluetooth, WiFi etc. Users need to make an inverted L gesture in order to access the BlackBerry Hub which is the main application for accessing all your notifications at one place.
An interesting feature in the BlackBerry 10.1 Os is the Instant action which is a kind of advance search. In Instant action while on the home screen you just need to type what you want to do and the device gives you options to complete the task. For example users can type tweet followed by their message to post a tweet directly to twitter.
Q10 also offers keyboard shortcuts just like any other qwerty Blackberry device. For example you can use the N key to go to next message in the BlackBerry Hub, R key for replying and there around 200 such shortcuts available in phone.
Coming to the apps, BlackBerry world still lacks many of the famous apps which are available on the other mobile platforms. The app store does have all the basic apps such as twitter, facebook, whatsapp, skype etc.
When the users connect the device to BlackBerry Enterprise Service 10, the device creates separate workspace for personal and business/office work. Work profile is managed by the company administrators and users can manage their own personal profile.
Q10 comes with a 8 megapixel back camera along with LED flash and a 2 megapixel front facing camera. The interface of the camera is quite simple with limited settings. The device has 3 shooting modes – Still, Video and Timeshift. The camera supports full HD (1080p) recording at 30fps.
The Timeshift mode allows the user to capture 11 continuous photos and then choose the best one according to their preferences. Here are few sample images taken using the 8 MP camera present on the BlackBerry Q10:
The quality of captured images is pretty good even in the low light conditions. The last two images were taken in nearly complete darkness and the main source of light was the LED flash present on the device. We really like the macro shot capabilities of the device.
Q10 comes with a removable 2100mAh battery. With moderate usage the battery lasted for more than a day. During the day we made few calls using the device (1 hour voice calling), browsed internet, synced our twitter & email accounts, played some music, videos and games on the device. The battery life is good due to the face that the device comes with a smaller screen as compared to other devices which usually have 4inch+ touch screen displays.
BlackBerry Q10 is undoubtedly the best qwerty smartphone available in the market. The device costs around Rs 44,990 which is bit high according to us. The build quality of the device is simply amazing and it is one of the best devices in terms of build quality. The touch screen is quite responsive and users won’t face any problem while using the qwerty keyboard or the touchscreen.
The device is powerful enough to handle all of your needs and tasks. Users can also enjoy high end games on the device but due to a smaller screen size they won’t be able to enjoy the games as compare to other devices. But since the device is targeted at the users in the enterprise space it won’t be an issue.
- Excellent Build Quality
- Good qwerty keyboard
- Great Performance
- Good Camera
- Battery backup is good
- Bit Pricey
- Lack of apps
- Awkward Aspect Ratio (1:1)